We use analytics to help us understand how people use our site. This means we set a cookie. See our cookie policy.


05 Jan 2012

An obituary for Postmodernism?

“It’s been nearly three years since Nicolas Bourriaud, curating the fourth Tate Triennial, declared, ‘Postmodernism is dead.’ It had been replaced, he said in an accompanying manifesto, by something he called Altermodern.

Whether or not ‘Altermodern’ is a conceit that will gain wide acceptance is still to be seen. But about the demise of postmodernism, there may be some reluctant – although by no means universal – agreement. Bourriaud began his work on the Tate exhibition in 2007 – which is also when curators Glenn Adamson and Jane Pavitt began working on the V&A’s Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990′. Does a V&A exhibition bracketing those dates suggest a lifespan – and a kind of obituary?” (online review posted by The Fortnightly Review of Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990, V&A, London, 24 September 2011 – 15 January 2012).

View of Postmodermism: Style and Substance, from the V&A website)

“This major exhibition was the first in-depth survey of art, design and architecture of the 1970s and 1980s, examining one of the most contentious phenomena in recent art and design history: Postmodernism. It showed how postmodernism evolved from a provocative architectural movement in the early 1970s and rapidly went on to influence all areas of popular culture including art, film, music, graphics and fashion.” (from the V&A website)